Power is a social construction

The Sopranos

Power exists as a subconsciously embedded psychotechnology to navigate self in society. It is an extension of a desire to manipulate or influence others. A projection of values you hold important gives someone influence and power.

Climbing up societal dominance hierarchies gives you a sense of control. Paradoxically, you have little control yet you consciously feel otherwise. Power dynamics drive your thought and behavior.

Competition, environment, genetics, arbitrages, status, evolution, and psyche drive the pursuit of power. Chimps and your ancestors found their place in the group, given their skills, circumstances, and efforts. So do you.

You constantly interact with people and yourself in a transactional exchange of value, which can be benefit and cost. I get your attention, you get mine. I get your money, you get my product. I get your job, you get my skills. You get your ideals, and you get your instincts and desires.

Is power worth pursuing? Worth and values are subjective. Yes, it is important and practical because of its perceived reality and practicality. It is also important to note the entanglement of self-worth and the worth you ascribe to the exterior. And the paradoxical worthlessness of worth as a pure being.

You play for the balance of self-inhibition and self-maximization like on a swing. Yet, you’re playing for others. It is hard to play for yourself if you don’t know what yourself is. You shouldn’t let the futility of power compromise effort.

Self-mastery involves having power over yourself to do things you deem worth pursuing. It is determination, dedication, and luck. Through having power over yourself you can have power over others who value self-mastery.

Politicians and celebrities only have power over you because you let them often because others hold them in regard and you hold others in regard. You were provoked by a song, a book, or a painting by your curiosity.

Understanding the power game is understanding human nature, an enigma.

Variety writer